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GMAT Strategy?

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Manager
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GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2011, 17:48
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I have been following the debrief and strategy threads for a long time, but am utterly confused about which strategy is going to work for me. Here are some details:

Target Score: 750+
Date: 1st October
Preparation time: 3 months

Target schools; [strike]Wharton[/strike], Columbia, Booth, Stern, Cornell, ISB and [strike]McCombs[/strike]
Planned admission date: Fall 2012/Spring 2013
Program type: Part time/Executive
Focus: Finance(career switch from IT)
Profile: IT(8+, at the time of application 10+)
Age: 28(at the time of application 30)


Last month: reviewed the grammar book, "The little brown hand book". I have not found anyone recommending this book on this forum, but I found this book extremely useful to hit the first milestone for the verbal.

Looking at the target score, I really need to prepare thoroughly, considering the non-native-speaker factor. After contemplating for a long time, I decided for my strategy like this, MGMAT all books including Qbank; then Power score CR, SC grail, and RC99; followed by OG11, 12, verbal and quant. Also, planning to cover Kaplan questions and GMAT club forum questions. Not to mention that most of my last month I plan to spend on all tests(GMAT Prep 2, MGMAT 6, Kaplan 6 and whatever comes along) while reviewing each and every questions and maintaining the error log.

However, I recently found on this forum that Power score CR is really not needed if MGMAT CR is done properly, and so is the case with SC Grail. If these books are not good with respect to my strategy, are there any good alternate books which I can refer, as I am really not confident if only OG11, 12 and MGMAT will be enough for the practice? My goal is to practice as much as I can without spending time on books which are not really meant for the target score I mentioned; for example, Princeton Review.

Could someone please recommend me the best strategy looking at my target score? Also, please recommend what is the best order to follow. I would really love to hit the verbal first, as I think verbal may be one of my weaknesses, and if I am done with verbal early, I can exploit the opportunity to spend some time daily on GMAT club solving the problems and helping out others; however, I am not particularly against starting the quant either.

Most of you might be wondering about cramming so much in 3 months, and also the burn-out factor. I agree, but recently I have appeared for CFA level 1 exam for which I really had to study a lot, so kind of in a habit of studying 4-5 hours daily and more on weekends. Studying this much, I don't really start hating myself, as most do and even if I have to sacrifice on other aspects to pursue my goal, I don't mind.

Any help is highly appreciated!
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Re: GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2011, 03:19
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There is no proper order for books. Your score is only as good as your weakest section.

Take a practice test as a diagnostic test (to determine a starting point). Start an error log and determine what section/subsection is hurting your score the most. Start there and work you way to other sections.

You have plenty of books listed. The key is to benefit from reading the books and learn strategies from the books to supplement your content understanding. Studying blindly (doing lots of practice tests and practice problems) doesn't work for everyone.

Your plan above is fine. Just make sure you track progress with the error log and gauge progress with practice tests.
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Manager
Manager
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Status: Dream big, work hard, and drink gallons of beer!
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 213
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT Date: 10-01-2011
WE: Web Development (Consulting)
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Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 33

Re: GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2011, 04:37
mohater wrote:
There is no proper order for books. Your score is only as good as your weakest section.

Take a practice test as a diagnostic test (to determine a starting point). Start an error log and determine what section/subsection is hurting your score the most. Start there and work you way to other sections.

You have plenty of books listed. The key is to benefit from reading the books and learn strategies from the books to supplement your content understanding. Studying blindly (doing lots of practice tests and practice problems) doesn't work for everyone.

Your plan above is fine. Just make sure you track progress with the error log and gauge progress with practice tests.


Thanks for responding, although I was looking for more specific answer, especially with respect to the supplemental material. One answer I definitely need is that do I need to work on SC Grail and Power score CR if I complete these sections using MGMAT books?
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Re: GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2011, 05:13
Hohatar "Your score is only as good as your weakest section". got kudos from me.

So does sgupta0827 for being one of the few who actually admit how much time he plans to put into preparation. I believe far more here put in that sort of time than will openly post it! Some of those wondering why their score doesn't go up 100 points for a few hours study here and there should read his plan.
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Re: GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2011, 05:29
sgupta0827 wrote:

Thanks for responding, although I was looking for more specific answer, especially with respect to the supplemental material. One answer I definitely need is that do I need to work on SC Grail and Power score CR if I complete these sections using MGMAT books?


Again, this depends on your needs.

For some, MGtMAT is enough. Powerscore is more advanced for people who want to score higher in CR. SC Grail is highly regarded for folks struggling with SC and folks looking for master the section.
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Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Dream big, work hard, and drink gallons of beer!
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 213
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT Date: 10-01-2011
WE: Web Development (Consulting)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 33

Re: GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2011, 06:54
OldMinolta wrote:
Hohatar "Your score is only as good as your weakest section". got kudos from me.

So does sgupta0827 for being one of the few who actually admit how much time he plans to put into preparation. I believe far more here put in that sort of time than will openly post it! Some of those wondering why their score doesn't go up 100 points for a few hours study here and there should read his plan.


Thanks for the kind words! As a wise man one said, "All the so-called 'secrets of success' will not work unless you do." And even if secret-of-success strategies work for someone in the short term, but for how long? GMAT, in my view, is a process to learn and to get ready for much bigger fight, so called MBA, so even if manage to shorten this, you will have to suffer when you end up being in the men's group.
_________________

If I look absent-minded or insane, I am just living a dream of being successful. If you still wonder why I am like this, you have no idea how success tastes like!

Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Dream big, work hard, and drink gallons of beer!
Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 213
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT Date: 10-01-2011
WE: Web Development (Consulting)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 33

Re: GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2011, 06:58
mohater wrote:
sgupta0827 wrote:

Thanks for responding, although I was looking for more specific answer, especially with respect to the supplemental material. One answer I definitely need is that do I need to work on SC Grail and Power score CR if I complete these sections using MGMAT books?


Again, this depends on your needs.

For some, MGtMAT is enough. Powerscore is more advanced for people who want to score higher in CR. SC Grail is highly regarded for folks struggling with SC and folks looking for master the section.


Okay, that definitely helps! I don't want to leave anything except for the room for silly mistakes and also for the errors due to concentration/focus. Do you recommend any other book that I may be ignoring for my target score?
_________________

If I look absent-minded or insane, I am just living a dream of being successful. If you still wonder why I am like this, you have no idea how success tastes like!

GMAT Forum Moderator
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Status: Accepting donations for the mohater MBA fund
Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 1860
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Economics
Schools: Ross '14 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V38
GMAT 2: Q V
GPA: 3.54
WE: Accounting (Manufacturing)
Followers: 54

Kudos [?]: 389 [0], given: 234

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Re: GMAT Strategy? [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2011, 09:44
sgupta0827 wrote:
Okay, that definitely helps! I don't want to leave anything except for the room for silly mistakes and also for the errors due to concentration/focus. Do you recommend any other book that I may be ignoring for my target score?



Your book list looks good, but withouth a starting point, it may be too much, it may be not enough (I doubt it not being enough). There are other good books, Veritas, Manhattan Review, etc..

Also, silly mistakes can tank scores. Your goal is to minimze all types or errors/mistakes.

Start out with practice test to use as a diagnostic test and from there develop a study plan (what areas need the most attention and work your way to areas that don't need as much attention). Use other practice tests to guage progress and when finish studying, take a practice test. If you are satisified with the results, get the real test done.
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Re: GMAT Strategy?   [#permalink] 25 Jun 2011, 09:44
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